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Bollywood faces, parliamentarians create awareness on TB

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Dharamshala, April 8:  Coming on the heels of the announcement of a National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination 2017-25, the TB-Free India Summit brought together some of the popular faces of Bollywood and Members of Parliament for the two discussions on what can be done to end TB by 2025.

The discussions were followed with a friendly cricket match to create awareness about the disease.

The initiative has been conceptualised by the three-time MP and former BCCI President Anurag Thakur in consultation with Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda, who is taking forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a TB-free India.

“TB is perhaps the country’s most severe health issue. In the last few years, we have made significant efforts to eliminate this disease, including making it compulsory to notify TB cases, improving diagnostic services and strengthening drug resistance surveillance.

“But more needs to be done. Let us work together to put an end to the tragic suffering and loss of life that are the result of this disease,” said Thakur.

A.K. Jha, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, also briefed on how the government of India is planning to put a ban on spitting to curb the disease from growing.

“TB can be spread through cough so if you are putting handkerchief on your mouth while sneezing then you are cutting down 90 per cent of TB. We are thinking of putting a ban on spitting. There are three states which already have this law — Goa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal,” he said.

The summit is jointly hosted by the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) and The International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), as a part of the Call to Action for a TB-Free India campaign being implemented under the stewardship of Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

While the day one on Friday saw some of the speakers talking about the steps to create more awareness about TB, the day two will see Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda along with other union ministers attending the summit along with MPs and Bollywood celebrities.

They will flag off the #INDIAvsTB T20 cricket match where MPs in the MPs’ XI team lead by Thakur will face off against the Mumbai Heroes celebrity team led by actor Bobby Deol at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium here.

“I am really glad that I am part of this campaign. In our country, TB is treated like an outcast and this feeling is really sad. It’s something which can be cured. People in our country love Bollywood and cricket so I thought what better way than to create awareness amongst people of India through this medium,” said Bobby.

“It is the biggest high as an actor to give back to society. You need to be treated right when suffering from TB. We believe that something will happen and we believe that this initiative will make difference,” Suniel Shetty added.

IANS

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Maternal blood sugar likely to affect baby’s heart

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baby

New York, Dec 16: Women with high blood sugar early in pregnancy may raise their baby’s risk of developing a congenital heart defect, according to a study.

While it has been long known that diabetes in pregnancy raises the odds for congenital heart defects in babies.

The new findings reveal that risk extends even to women without diabetes in their earliest part of pregnancy, when the foetal heart is forming.

“Most women who have a child with congenital heart disease are not diabetic,” said James Priest, assistant professor at the Stanford University in California.

The results showed that the risk of giving birth to a child with a congenital heart defect was elevated by 8 per cent for every increase of 10 milligrams per deciliter in blood glucose levels in the early stages of pregnancy.

“We found that in women who don’t already have diabetes or develop diabetes during pregnancy, we can still measure risk for having a child with congenital heart disease by looking at their glucose values during the first trimester of pregnancy,” Priest added.

For the study, published in The Journal of Paediatrics, the team examined medical records from 19,107 pairs of mothers and their babies born between 2009 and 2015, which included details of the mothers’ prenatal care, including blood test results and any cardiac diagnoses made for the babies during pregnancy or after birth.

The study may be helpful to measure blood glucose early in pregnancy in all pregnant women to help determine which individuals are at greater risk for having a baby with a heart defect.

“Knowing about defects prenatally improves outcomes because mothers can receive specialised care that increases their babies’ chances of being healthier after birth,” Priest added.

IANS

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Radiation from smartphones may up miscarriage risk: Study

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New York, Dec 14: Pregnant women’s exposure to non-ionising radiation from smartphones, Bluetooth devices and laptops may more than double the risk of miscarriage, a study has showed.

Non-ionising radiation — radiation that produces enough energy to move around atoms in a molecule, but not enough to remove electrons completely — from magnetic fields is produced when electric devices are in use and electricity is flowing.

It can be generated by a number of environmental sources, including electric appliances, power lines and transformers, wireless devices and wireless networks.

While the health hazards from ionising radiation are well-established and include radiation sickness, cancer and genetic damage, the evidence of health risks to humans from non-ionising radiation remains limited, said De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente — a US-based health care firm.

For the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, the team asked for 913 pregnant women over age 18 to wear a small (a bit larger than a deck of cards) magnetic-field monitoring device for 24 hours.

After controlling for multiple other factors, women who were exposed to higher magnetic fields levels had 2.72 times the risk of miscarriage than those with lower magnetic fields exposure.

The increased risk of miscarriage associated with high magnetic fields was consistently observed regardless of the sources of high magnetic fields. The association was much stronger if magnetic fields was measured on a typical day of participants’ pregnancies.

The finding also demonstrated that accurate measurement of magnetic field exposure is vital for examining magnetic field health effects.

“This study provides evidence from a human population that magnetic field non-ionising radiation could have adverse biological impacts on human health,” Li noted.

“We hope that the finding from this study will stimulate much-needed additional studies into the potential environmental hazards to human health, including the health of pregnant women,” he said.

IANS
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Use of Smartphone before sleep may make your kid obese: Study

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New York, Dec 10: Beware if your children have a habit of playing games on smartphones before sleeping, he or she may face an increased risk of becoming obese, warns a study.

It was discovered kids who used digital devices such as watching TV or playing games on smartphones before going to bed got an average of 30 minutes less sleep in comparison to those who did not.

This lack of proper sleep not only caused fatigue and attention problems in school, but also disrupted their eating habits. This leads to higher body mass indexes (BMI), news agency IANS reported.

“We saw technology before bed being associated with less sleep and higher BMIs,”stated Caitlyn Fuller, researcher at the Pennsylvania State University in the US.

“We also saw this technology use being associated with more fatigue in the morning, which circling back, is another risk factor for higher BMIs. So we’re seeing a loop pattern forming,” Fuller further asserted.

The study, published in the journal Global Pediatric Health, examined the sleep and technology habits of 234 children, between the age of eight to 17 years.

As per the suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should set some limitations regarding the use of technology, like requiring their kids to put away their devices during meal times and keeping phones out of bedrooms at night.

WeForNews 

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